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NAIROBI: Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali Warns Against Islamic Threat

NAIROBI: Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali Warns Against Islamic Threat

By Michael Heidt
Special Correspondent to VOL
October 25, 2013

Speaking on the fourth day of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), retired Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, warned delegates against the danger of Islam subverting the democratic and legal systems of the Western world.

Bishop Nazir-Ali set the context of his address by stating that the separation of religion and public affairs was over. "The idea of the separation of religion and public affairs that arose in Europe from the treaty of Westphalia," said the bishop, "is now dead everywhere." The intrusion of radical Islam into the public arena around the world was partly to blame for this, as Islam does not believe in the separation of religion and the state. For Nazir-Ali this represented a danger to democracy.

"Radical Islam is committed to theocracy," stated the bishop, who questioned its compatibility with democratic freedom. "The true test of democracy is not taking power through the ballot box," he said, "but being prepared to lose it through the ballot box." Nazir-Ali questioned the ability of Islam to do this and raised the specter of Mohammedanism hijacking the democratic process.

"Thus majoritarian democracy can simply lead to the tyranny of the majority," he said, describing the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt through the ballot box and its attempted refusal to relinquish power. "In Egypt what's needed is a bill of rights... guaranteeing freedom. We need 'democracy plus' in the Islamic world," stated the bishop, who then went on to discuss the Islamic threat to equality based law.

Citing the Ten Commandments, Bishop Nazir-Ali stated that "you don't have to be religious to be moral but the fact of the matter is that all the great moral systems of the world have arisen in a religious context." For Nazir-Ali, law that has come out of the Judeo-Christian context is grounded in a belief in equality and exists to protect freedom, including freedom of religion.

Islamic Sharia law, which Muslims want to impose on the world, is fundamentally opposed to this. "The problem is that the system of public law works on the principle of equality; Sharia by its very nature is based on three fundamental inequalities," said the bishop, who described these as the inequality between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, inequality between men and women and inequality between slaves and free persons.

The bishop demonstrated these points with examples. In Western public law, divorced partners are treated equally but in Islam, men are given preferential treatment. Similarly with inheritance, which can only go to a man. Non-Muslims, he stated, cannot inherit from Muslims and the slave trade is alive and well in many Islamic countries. Even these examples of what the bishop called "soft Sharia" indicated Islamic law's incompatibility with jurisprudence based on equality.

Commenting on Jihad, the Koran inspired holy war to "open up lands to Islam," Nazir-Ali commented that "for the first time in history there are large numbers of young men in Islamic cities, Cairo, Algiers... that have just enough education to know they are not getting their due." These, he felt, were "ripe for recruitment" for international terrorism under the name of holy war and with that the potential subversion of democracy and freedom based on law.

To see a video of this event click here: http://www.anglican.tv/content/gafcon-ii-bishop-nazir-ali

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